Popular K-pop boy band Big Bang is set to join the elite superrich club with an estimated total net worth of 40 billion won ($33.2 million). Moreover, it’s leader G-Dragon, also known as Kwon Ji-yong, has a personal net worth of 15 billion won.
Big Bang (YG Entertainment)
Confirming Big Bang’s road to success, the quintet’s LA concert at the Staples Center during their world tour last year was selected by Billboard as one of the top 10 grossing concerts in the world, earning a total of 2.1 billion won while drawing 13,361 fans.
Meanwhile G-Dragon’s personal net worth is estimated at over 15 billion won by the Korea Herald Superrich Team, which is 3 billion won more than that of the U.S. Celebrity Net Worth website.
G-Dragon (YG Entertainment)
Releasing hit after hit with group and solo activities such as “Heartbreaker” in 2009, “One of a Kind” in 2012, and “Coup d’Etat,” G-Dragon earned at least 10 billion won from music sales and concerts in 2013.
As G-Dragon also composes and writes lyrics to most of his songs, he earns 800 million won annually from royalties. He received 790 million won as royalties in 2013 according to the Korea Music Copyright Association and currently has 160 songs registered under his name.
With his musical earnings, G-Dragon has invested over 4.3 billion won in real estate -- currently owning two apartments in Seoul.
He purchased a 168.37 square meter apartment on the upper levels of the Galleria Foret complex located in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, on March 14, 2013, for 3 billion won, according to the certified copy of real estate register.
Completed in 2011, the Galleria Foret complex adjacent to the Seoul Forest, has two buildings with a total of 230 units, which provide a view of the Hangang River. The units were sold for 43.9 million won per 3.3 square meter, which is the costliest real estate in the domestic market.
G-Dragon also purchased a 168.63 square meter apartment on the upper levels of the Hangang Bamseom Xai complex of Hajung-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, for 1.3 billion won.
Though not listed under his name, he presented his parents a pension -- Korean term for condominiums exclusively rented to members during peak seasons, which can be rented to nonmembers during off-peak times -- located in Il-dong, Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, worth 1 billion won. The Dolce Vita pension with a 550 square meter lot is a two-story building with an area of 222.7 square meters. Run by G-Dragon’s parents, the pension only admits adult visitors to prevent his underage fans from visiting.
Financial success is not limited to G-Dragon alone as the net worth of other Big Bang members amounts to over 25 billion won with individual wealth differing drastically due to their solo activities of films and music albums.
Taeyang, real name Dong Young-bae, and Seungri, real name Lee Seung-hyun, have a net worth of 12 billion won and 3.6 billion won, respectively, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Opening his first vocal and dance academy Joy Dance -- Plug In Music Academy in his hometown Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, in 2011, Seungri earns additional income and now owns five different academies around Korea including in Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon and Mokpo.
Seungri (YG Entertainment)
Seungri also started a café business. Purchasing a license for traditional Belgian waffles, he opened a waffle café And Here at Daehangno leaving his mother to run the cafe.
Although the personal net worths of T.O.P -- real name Choi Seung-hyun -- and Daesung -- real name Kang Dae-seong -- have not been estimated by foreign media, considering their group activities including music sales and appearances in films and musicals, it is estimated to be over 5 billion won each.
Big Bang is estimated to have earned 12 billion won last year domestically with music sales as the group released hit singles from M.A.D.E. album such as “Loser” and “Bang Bang Bang.” The Big Bang 2015 World Tour that started in April last year touring 15 different countries further brought 140 billion won in sales.
Music sales earnings are divided between Big Bang’s agency YG Entertainment and the group at a 3:7 ratio, while endorsements and events are divided at a ratio of 1:9. Solo activities and copyrights are not divided but kept by the artists.
The net worth of Big Bang is estimated to rise as the group’s international popularity continues to increase as seen with the 1.5 billion won earnings in China with their most recent album M.A.D.E.
By the Korea Herald Superrich Team (firstname.lastname@example.org